On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a couple of people came to the San Francisco waterfront to take the Hornblower ferry to Alcatraz Island for the night tour. In spite of the high-priced ferry ticket and the difficulty of scheduling anything during the holiday season, the trip was well worth the $30+ price of the boat ride and the hassle of negotiating the S.F. traffic. All those who told me that the Alcatraz night tour was the best were 100 percent right. It was simply Spectacular!
We cruised over to the former federal prison as the light of day was waning. As the boat approached, it took a wide turn around the island and gave us some spectacular photo opportunities as the island slowly shifted in front of a spectacular painted sky.
Once on the island, the final light of day faded and we hiked up the steep ramp in the near dark, making the whole scene appear most forboding and surreal. Once in the prison proper, we got our audio headphones and took the self-guided sound tour. It was a fascinating presentation, but the kiker was when they led us out by the lighthouse and we first saw the spectacular panorama of the lights of San Francisco reflected off the bay. What an amazing sight! We were there a couple of hours and I could have stayed longer, but it was still nice to get out of the cool night air.
I think the Alcatraz trip is well worth the expence, especially the night tour. If you have guests from outside the Bay Area coming to visit, you might consider this as a possible opportunity to give them a treat.
© 2007 S.R. Hinrichs